"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner
We met this family through animals, they always seem to bring people together in good and bad times. They had been so up-beat and positive and no mention of the tougher than most life they hid behind those smiles.
They spoke of their amazing family, animals and clear love for helping others achieve their goals whilst getting so much joy out of seeing them overcome their fears. Denise told me how she works part time and John full time, they both help each other training horses to make some extra money to support home. I thought good on you, at 61 riding those wild ones you are tougher than most.... Little did I know.
It wasn’t until later down the track I got to know more about Denise and John and this amazing little man called Laine. I asked Denise on a ride out one day how she was going (she is always so upbeat) as usual with a big smile on her face she said, "making ends meet". I probed a bit more and she told me she was upset as now Laine was hitting 44Kg her and John could no longer lift Laine into their car to take him places and intern send him on excursions with careers. I asked about why they did not have a car with wheel chair access? Denise explained with having to look after Laine 24/7 it meant she could only work part time so getting a loan at their ages would be near impossible.
I asked her to tell me some more about Laine and how she stays so strong..
This big smile came over a Denise and this is his story;
"Laine was born 7th March 2001 at Campbelltown Hospital, our world as we once knew changed forever and what an adventure it has been.
Laine has had years of intense specialist, physiotherapist to O.T, specialist on top of some major surgeries and the most recent one was last October having a Pelvic Osteotomy [hip dislocation] with more to come. Next year in June both feet will be reconstructed and having the plate and pins removed from his hip ..Laine is Globally developmentally delayed, has low muscle tone and bilateral lower limb spasticity which means he is unable to stand independently. Laine is severely intellectually impaired with mild hearing loss and he is unable to talk, he is also peg feed [ Gastrostomy].”
I was blown away, how do they do it I asked?
“We juggle every day to keep up with his needs between nappies medication equipment and then just trying to keep the everyday world existing. Despite all of these hurdles our sweet Laine has more love for life than you could imagine he is so amazing, he is the happiest little fellow you will ever meet always smiling and so enjoys his world, Laine just loves interacting with people ..Laine can bum scoot around, he climbs, crawls and laughs like no other. He loves movies, animals, trucks, balloons and bubbles like any other child."
I asked Denis has she thought about some fundraising.....
I have never seen someone so quickly snap around and say "no... we would never ask anyone to help us, Laine is our responsibility. We are talking to a bank about having our house mortgage assed so maybe we can get a car and give Laine more time out with professionals
Meanwhile not even one second later here was Denise asking me how I was going, how was I coping with my challenges, a new baby and some dark times I had previously.
We got talking more about Laine " We have now reached a point in our life’s (John 61 and myself 52) that we are struggling in caring for Laine for the last 12mths, we are unable to transport our son…. We have for years physically carried and lifted Laine into to our vehicle then lift his chair into our Ute and then do this again at the other end then back home again
We are no longer going out and if we need to go one would stay with Laine rather than going through the hassle, even when we go out one would sit in the car and the other run and do errands.
Laine weighs in at 44kg and is getting bigger each day, Denise was Cleary upset when she told me about last school holidays "We tried to get Laine involved with these activities which include bowling, movies, the zoo and heaps more but unfortunately Adventurous kids programme at Campbelltown wouldn’t pick him up and I just couldn’t get him there, we just can’t lift him and we felt horrible"
I couldn’t help but think how we take basic things for granted….So I’ve come to ask that as a community we gather around to help to get Laine out and about to all his community activities and to be able to access the life and things we all take for granted. Living rural they have no access to public transport so with Denise and Johns blessing I am starting this page to help purchase Laine a purpose built second-hand Toyota Tarago, with wheel chair access.
I hope you can all find it in your hearts to bring this amazing little man the same joy in his life we all get to experience without a second thought.
- Kellie O'Connor
- Jen Rousell
- Greg Primmer
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